Magic on the Screen: Hong Kong Cinematic Effects

'A Taste of Chroma Keying'

"A Taste of Chroma Keying"

Date:9/12/2016 - 26/3/2017
Venue:Exhibition Hall, Hong Kong Film Archive
Seminars:21/1/2017 (Sat), 12/2/2017 (Sun) 3:00pm 

The making of mythical scenes or bizarre aliens on screen is beyond imagination. Featuring artefacts, special effects film sequences, and interviews with professionals, the "Magic on the Screen: Hong Kong Cinematic Effects" exhibition unveils the evolution of visual tricks in Hong Kong cinema.

The war and the resultant limited resources for filmmaking may have hindered the development of special effects in early Hong Kong cinema but these early filmmakers cleverly utilised photography and darkroom printing techniques as well as makeup, sets, scale models and props to create many rudimentary yet fascinating visual effects on screen.

Following the Hollywood special effects craze, Hong Kong cinema strode into the 1980s with a brand new outlook on technology, mixing Western and local visual effects techniques. Many special effects talents also set up their own production companies, resulting in a string of special effects hits of mysteries and thrillers, wuxia and action films in the 1980s and 1990s.

During late ‘90s to the millennium, Hong Kong cinema marched into the digital era. While the standard of Hong Kong CGI may pale in comparison with Hollywood, the well-choreographed, brilliant action sequences and deft mise-en-scène of Hong Kong cinema are definitely bursting with an energy and creativity all its own.

Interactive multimedia installations are set up at the venue for visitors to experience the magic and fun of special effects tricks. We also teamed up with the Hong Kong Design Institute and invited their students to digitally re-create hand-crafted special effects scenes from old Hong Kong films in Cantonese Films across the Past and the Present now on display in the exhibition.

Partner Organisation: Hong Kong Design Institute